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St. Michael's Players kick-off season with 'Fiddler on the Roof'


Nov. 5, 2012

By Carley Dangona

carley@thereminder.com

EAST LONGMEADOW — The 2012 season for the St. Michael's Players (SMP) kicks off Nov. 15 with its production of "Fiddler on the Roof."

"It's a great show with really good music — we usually perform a musical every year — and it provides an opportunity for all ages to participate," Rose Stella, director of Religious Education for St. Michael's Parish and producer for its theater group the SMP, explained this season's first show.

In conjunction with the show, SMP conducts a drive to support a designated organization in need. Stella explained that the cause usually mirrors the theme of that year's performance.

"Because the villagers of Anatevka [in the musical] are displaced from their homes, we are going to collect donations for the American Red Cross, to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims," she said.

A family atmosphere is an important aspect of the SMP. "We become a family [during production]," Stella stated. "Many of the participants who joined the SMP as teenagers and are now in college say, 'coming back every year to audition, is like coming home' — it's a beautiful thing."

She added, "The SMP is much more than just a church group, the audience gets quality theater when they walk through the door. The family atmosphere is evident even at the family level. It's a venue to invite the community to come together."

Stella founded the group in 2004 with Frank Jackson, who serves as director, musical director and choreographer.

"I couldn't do it without Frank," Stella said, regarding the effort required for the organization of a show.

Daily performances will be Nov. 15 to 18 at the St. Michael's Community Center, 53 Somers Road. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m. A concession stand will be available during intermission.

Tickets cost $15 for adults or $12 for seniors and children and can be purchased at www.stmichaelsplayers.com or via phone at 221-2782 or 525-2462. Proceeds benefit the 2013 production season.

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